Music suggestions!

Since the beginning of school is still weeks away and I still can't access my classroom, I'm thinking of "fun" stuff that I can do to prepare. One thing I'd like to find is some new music that I can play this year. This is more difficult than it sounds for a couple of reasons.

1) I'm usually embarrassed by the type of music I listen to. While I may love "The Roadhouse" on XM in all its 70's-80's country glory, I doubt my students would. I can hear the conversation now.
Parent: "Umm... Teacher?"
Me: "Yes."
Parent: "Little Johnny came home saying he now only likes songs about mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or..."

2) I refuse to listen to anything affiliated with Disney. Enough said.

3) You want to play music that sets a calm tone. This pretty much rules out anything the students will actually like.

I have found a few cd's that have worked well. I'm going to share these with you because I think they are great options if you're not completely sick of them like I am.

Say what you will about Enya, but she can calm even the rowdiest of 11 year olds. They laugh and make fun of it, but as time goes on you will hear your loudest critics singing "Carribean Blue" under their breaths. During my student teaching I would hear Enya streaming from down the hall every morning. I came to realize that the person playing it was the fabulous Jennifer Criss, fifth grade teacher extraordinaire. I was lucky enough to get a long term sub position in her room later that year and I kept the morning Enya tradition alive. I think this put both the students and me at ease because we felt Mrs. Criss was there in some small way.

Jack Johnson, Curious George soundtrack. Fun, kid-friendly, and not terrible. Too bad I'm really tired of listening to it.

Finally, Nickel Creek's first cd. The cover of the cd is just too cheesy to be included here. This is a great cd to put on while everyone is working. There's always the guy running off the edge of the lighthouse issue, but I think fifth graders are mature enough for that, don't you?

I have been searching for some new tunes for quite a while now, and I just can't find anything that feels right. I would love to hear any ideas!


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  2. Thanks lone follower! I played this on itunes and I LOVE IT! Seriously, something like this is exactly the mood I'm going for. Not instantly recognizable, not cheesy, not trying too hard. You rule.

  3. HAHA! this is awesome! I got the enya treatment in 6th grade and am obviously a better person for it now. jack j! and the poor guy that always runs off the lighthouse! I just hope he's not related to the guy that gets his hand stuck in a rose bush or the poor fellow who is always being chased by the girl who wants him OUT of the woods in IN the picture with her.

  4. as far as suggestions, the whole rainy day music album by the jayhawks and maybe a couple songs from ziggy marley's family time cd? and there's always a little kenny loggins or phil collins on the back burner if they start acting up, maybe threaten them with a little "return to pooh corner," or, well, really anything by ol phil.

  5. Yea, that Nickel Creek is some pretty deep stuff! Your post just made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh some more. I can see it now. Red faced, angry children, teary-eyed, with their arms crossed sitting in a dark room listening to "return to pooh corner". I'm sitting at the front of the room saying, "I told you that if you did that one more time this would happen. You have done this to yourselves."

    I love the Jayhawks suggestion! That is definitely the vibe I'm going for. I haven't heard the Ziggy Marley, but I'm going to take a listen right now. Thanks little sister.

  6. Look on iTunes for Rhythm, Rhyme, Results. There are a ton of education rap songs that my kids love! They are particularly fond of the 8 parts of speech rap and the circumference song. I would download the downtempo versions because they are easier for the kids to learn. Also, if you google RR&R on the web, you can get the lyrics to all of their songs in a word document. As far as grants for cameras, go the the website, they have tons of grants for science and technology! Good luck and have a great year!

  7. Okay Grace, I just listened to these and they are hilarious! I know the kids will LOVE these. Also, they cover skills that they definitely have trouble with like parts of speech and figurative language. Seriously, thanks so much for sharing your ideas! I am going to download these right now.

  8. Thank you for the suggestions!!! I want to incorporate more music in my class. Also, for fifth grade science, I've found some songs at

  9. I just checked out and they do have some great songs! The science songs seem to line up well with our curriculum. Thanks for sharing!!

  10. Last year my kids loved Above the Clouds by Kavin Hoo. It's not on iTunes, you'll have to order it through Amazon. A teacher at my school found it in the cheesy music section at Target by accident! :) This year I found the Water for Elephants soundtrack that I plan to try on them. They always hate it at first, but then beg for it to be turned on as the year goes on. I also do my own mix of John Mayer (you have to be careful about language and content, but there are some good songs). Oh yeah, and one more cheesy thing my kids like to listen to is Hooked on Classics. It's quite funny to see my Top 40 kids bouncing and humming to Hooked on Classics!! :) Hope this helps.

  11. Thank you so much for these suggestions! I am going to check them out!